I am very shy in making friends with girls

I used to study in an all-boys’ school and now I have moved to a co-ed school. I am very shy in making friends with girls. I like a girl and want to be friends with her. Should I approach her and say that I want to be her friend?
Anil / New Delhi

Dear Anil,

It seems your inexperience in social interaction with girls makes you feel too shy to approach a girl whom you like. While it is perfectly fine to approach someone and say, “I want to be friends with you,” it can make the other person feel uncomfortable because she doesn’t know you enough.

A good way forward would be to first make friends with both guys and girls in a mixed-gender group that you can learn to interact with girls without pressure. If this girl hangs out in a mixed-gender group, you can try to join that group.

When you feel a bit confident, you can make friends with her directly, or find a common friend first. Take one step at a time. Smile at her…and at other girls, too. Work up to a ‘hi’ and then find an opportunity to begin a conversation. Find out what she is interested in and what your common interests are. This way, if you both become good friends, it’s wonderful, if not, you will still have learnt how to be comfortable making friends with girls.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.